Well, we're just a few weeks away from Cranksgiving Omaha 2009. Thank you in advance to those who plan on riding, volunteering or donating – you make the event go. All the planning in the world won't matter if people aren't willing to support the cause.
Every year we have an FAQ of sorts before the event to better explain things. Here it is:
Time: The race starts at noon, but you need to be there around 11:15 to check in, sign the waiver (in which you promise not to get killed -- or at least not blame us for it) and get your bike ready. The shopping list will be distributed at 11:50, and the Le Mans start is at noon. You'll like the Le Mans start. It's fun. Really.
What's this gonna cost me?
Whatever you spend on the items on the list, that's it. There's no entry fee. The items will cost around 20 bucks, probably.
What do I need to bring?
You'll need, at a mininum: A bag to carry your stuff, a helmet (required - no exceptions) and some money.
How do I collect all of this?
Your list will have 10 items to buy. They need to come from 10 different stores. You can do that in whatever order you please. As long as you have 10 receipts when you come back, it's no problem.
Are there different divisions?
Yup -- geared, fixed/single-speed and trailer, for both men and women. The trailer division will be scored by weight, not time like the other ones. Prizes will be awarded to the top three in each division.
About that trailer division ...
The idea of the trailer division is to carry as much stuff as possible. Last year the guy who won had more than 200 pounds in there. So yes, get multiples of things if you're feeling the urge. And if you buy stuff that's not on the list (like super-heavy laundry detergent or something like that), you won't get credit. But that doesn't mean you can't buy it (wink-wink, etc.)
You mentioned prizes.
We have a generous group of companies/individuals who have agreed to donate some bike-related goods. Those sponsor prizes will be handed out through a random drawing. Prizes from riding fast will be different, though still cool.
What if it's cold?
Right now, the 10-day forecast says a high of 60 on Saturday. If so, that would be the warmest Cranksgiving we've had. If it's cold, dress warmer.
No, really cold!
Better ride fast. And if snow isn't your thing (whose thing is it, really?), nobody will bat an eye if you get the list, run down to Target (less than a mile away) and bring back all of the stuff. Or if you donate $20. We don't expect you to have a miserable day on the bike.
What are we going to do afterward?
Hang out, give out prizes and eat. We'll have two or three kinds of soup and maybe some cookies. You're welcome to bring food to share with the masses as well. Just shoot me an email -- bredemske at gmail dot com to let me know.
Can I donate something if I can't make the ride?
Yes, you absolutely should! There's an online form here, or you can drop by Bike Masters and put it in our "Fill The Truck" cans.
How will this whole thing work?
You'll check in, preferably around 11:15 so we can get you signed in, then at about 11:50 you'll get your shopping list. At noon, you'll hop on your bike and ride. Whenever you get back, you'll check in and weigh your bag. After that, you're done. Grab some food. When everybody's back, we'll draw for prizes. Do feel free to hang out, too. Bike Masters has been kind enough to host us, so check their stuff out.
Is this a family-friendly event?
Yes, to a point. My two-year-old son will be wandering around the shop, probably stacking cans and stuff, but that's about it. If you're thinking of bringing kids, keep in mind the nature of retail in Northwest Omaha. Lots of strip malls, and a reasonably large amount of traffic. For that reason, we ask that all participants be experienced riders. You don't have to do thousands of miles each year, but you need to be able to handle yourself on a busy street.
I think that's it -- email or post a comment if you have other questions. I'll try to get 'em answered pronto. And thanks for being a part of what could be a pretty cool event.